Home>BioVale at ChemUK 2021 EXPO

Find out more about the businesses that we are showcasing at ChemUK 2021

BioVale are showcasing some of the UK’s leading green and bio-based chemicals sector SME and start-up companies in this ‘flash-talk’ session on 16th September, 11.00 – 12.00 noon. The presenters will introduce a diverse and innovative range of products, processes and services that offer greener and more sustainable alternatives for the industry.

Green Rose Chemistry

Green Rose Chemistry offers sustainable chemistry intelligence to help innovative companies develop truly green products and processes for a renewable, circular bioeconomy. Tap into our scientific and market expertise to save time, gain new partners and customers, and deepen your understanding of green science. Our expertise can help your company solve green chemistry problems, demystify sustainable science and find new opportunities.

Bio: Dr Anna Zhenova, CEO of Green Rose Chemistry

Anna leads Green Rose Chemistry and works directly with clients to solve their green chemistry problems. During her Ph.D. at the University of York, she noticed the market need for high-quality, on-demand green chemistry research for industrial applications, and founded Green Rose Chemistry to meet it. Her Ph.D. research developed new applications for safe, bio-based solvents, combining state-of-the-art computational modelling and comprehensive experimental work, with a particular focus on polymers. Anna excels in translating academic expertise to real-world applications, and has a rather unscientific fondness for clear communication and polished graphics.

Biobased Chemicals Showcase Session Host: The showcase will be hosted by Anna Zhenova, CEO of Green Rose Chemistry and BioVale member. Green Rose Chemistry works with innovative companies including some of the showcase participants to develop great products, find the right partners, and overcome barriers on the path to commercialisation.

Nuspec Oil

Nuspec Oil is a UK-based company focused on developing and manufacturing biodegradable base oils that replace toxic mineral oils in the production of Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EALs). Nuspec Oil uses proprietary feedstock and processing technique, which enable to unlock the value of vegetable oils in the production of marine and industrial lubricants. Nuspec Oil’s products offer superlubricity, biodegradability and renewability, no re-formulation and re-approval costs of finished lubricants and reduced carbon emissions by 80% per tone of the product.

Speaker bio: Dr Natalia Stawniak, CEO and Co-founder

Natalia co-founded Nuspec Oil – a start-up company focusing on developing innovative base oils for marine and industrial lubricants from thermo-stable novel rapeseed oil. Her passion for plants led her to complete a PhD in plant breeding at the University of Reading in the UK. In the past, she has been working on increasing antimalarial compound synthesis in plants – a project funded by Melinda and Bill Gates. She has also been valorising bio-based waste streams for blue-chip companies and helping various SMEs to make their processes more sustainable. In 2018, she was awarded Enterprise Fellowship from the University of York to develop a business for bio-based alternatives to mineral base oils. She will talk about rapeseed oil – how improving the raw material can lead to outperforming and sustainable lubricants.

Presentation Overview: Raw materials – redesigning basic oil properties for better performance of the finished lubricants.

  • Novel thermo-stable rapeseed oils.
  • From concept to design – how using novel feedstock can lead to better performance.
  • Unlocking the value of novelty.
  • Biobased bright stock replacement for environmentally acceptable lubricants.

The lubricant industry has long recognised vegetable oils for their excellent lubricity, great viscosity, low volatility, high flash point and low toxicity. Their physicochemical and tribological properties depend on the unique composition of fatty acid triglycerides. For example, the level of unsaturation determines the wear and friction properties of the base stock. Stearic acid is known to reduce wear of metal surfaces due to its saturation and ability to form close-packed monolayers. Increased length of carboxylic acid chains decreases the friction. The major drawback of vegetable oils, including rapeseed oil, is poor oxidative and hydrolytic stability. Nuspec Oil will demonstrate the latest developments of the feedstock and its direct uses in producing novel base oils.

Starbons Ltd

Starbons Ltd designs products made from biorenewable raw materials (polysaccharides), providing technical solutions tailored to the customer’s specific separation needs and end use application. Examples are active substance isolation, gas capture and precious metals recovery. Our aspiration – to become the leading disruptive technology and products company in the field of Specialty Separations.

Speaker bio: Susan Brench, CEO

Since 2018 Susan has successfully established a portfolio of interests building on the foundations of over 30 years’ experience in industrial strategic commercial management, stakeholder engagement, marketing and international business development. Working with clients across the globe including Europe, the USA, and Japan her expertise is derived primarily from working in the chemical manufacturing sector. She also has experience of working for 2 major financial institutions.

A Physical Natural Sciences – Chemical Engineering graduate from the University of Cambridge, Susan enjoys finding solutions to complex issues; being able to see the macro and the micro, the bigger picture and the detail.

She truly and passionately believes in the importance of science & engineering, industry & manufacturing for building a more sustainable society. Mentoring of start up businesses is of keen interest, and in 2019 Susan took on the challenge of driving the green chemistry micro business, Starbons Ltd, forwards to commercial success, where she is now CEO.

Presentation Overview: Do you need to isolate Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients from complex mixtures? In organic and aqueous systems, Starbon® materials will capture and significantly enrich multifunctional compounds. Do you have waste streams containing precious metals or need to capture gases? Starbon® products can increase the adsorption of certain gases by more than 150% compared to the industry standards. Starbons Ltd works with customers to design the best solution to meet their needs.


Holiferm is commercialising biosurfactants for use in environmentally friendly home and personal care products. A purpose-led company that aims to accelerate the transition to a circular economy by developing and supplying sustainable, non-fossil based, fermentation-derived ingredients for industrial and consumer products. Holiferm transform existing biosurfactant and lipid production processes by taking traditional and expensive batch fermentation and developing commercially viable, continuous manufacturing processes to deliver green products to the mass market at the correct volume and price point.

Speaker bio: Ben Dolman, CEO

Ben Dolman is a co-inventor of Holiferm’s technology. As well as bringing his technical expertise in biosurfactant production, Ben has developed links throughout the industry, enabling a series of collaborative projects and won the BBSRC Early Career Researcher Innovator of the Year award 2018 for this work.


Lixea is an Imperial College London spin-out company developing an innovative biomass fractionation process using low-cost, environmentally friendly solvents, namely liquid salts or ionic liquids. The novel, patented process converts wood waste or agricultural residues into high-quality intermediates for sustainable (bio)chemicals, materials and fuels.

Speaker bio: Krisztina Kovacs-Schreiner, CEO

Krisztina is a Biochemical Engineer by training and has been active in the sustainability technology sphere for over 10 years. Previously she worked at a bioplastics company, managing a portfolio of collaborative, biomass to novel bioplastics R&D projects with an overall budget of EUR 6million. Krisztina has considerable experience in taking an idea from the drawing board to installation and running a start-up company overseeing all aspects of the business.

Presentation Overview: The world currently operates in a linear economy creating enormous levels of waste. Concurrently, many of our raw materials are produced from fossil-based sources. While technologically feasible, biobased materials are often too expensive to enter the market. Global demand for plastics will grow to 1000million tonnes (MT) by 2050 from a current level of 450MT. To be sustainable, about 200MT will need to come from biobased sources. As a starting point, about 50MT of wood are landfilled each year due to preservatives and chemicals. Our novel, patented process breaks down any type of wood waste (including heavy metal treated or contaminated materials from the construction industry) into its components: cellulose-fibres, lignin, and hemicelluloses. These then can be converted into high-quality fine and bulk (bio)chemicals, bioplastics, renewable fibres and biofuels. Overall, the process gives wood waste a second life, reduces landfill and incineration with its resultant global air, soil and water pollution consequences, provide better quality of life and potential local employment opportunities within the bioeconomy.

Nova Pangea Technologies

Nova Pangea Technologies was created to convert discarded plant biomass into a variety of valuable biochemicals, biopolymers and biofuels. We license our proprietary, patented, continuous process called REFNOVA®. Based at Wilton International, Redcar we have completed and commissioned an end to end demonstration plant and are currently engaged with a number of international partners to commercialise the opportunity.

Speaker bio: Dr Neil Hindle, CTO

Neil has over 20 years’ experience in the chemical industry with ICI plc, Croda International, Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) and Applied Graphene Materials. Neil joined ICI in 1995 following completion of my DPhil, in sugar synthesis, and BA at the University of Oxford. He is also a Chartered Chemist and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Having held several roles both in the UK and overseas, Neil’s primary focus has been the scale-up of the production processes from laboratory to commercial production as well as process improvements on existing production assets. Currently Neil is the CTO and also leads on Overseas Development and HSE at Nova Pangaea Technologies.

Presentation Overview: “Introduction to Nova Pangaea Technologies and REFNOVA®:  An introduction to proprietary thermochemical fractionation process of lignocellulosic material to biochemicals, biofuels, biopolymers and biocarbons. The proprietary, patented process offers a continuous route to carbohydrates that can be used for fermentation without the need for enzyme catalysts in the process or fermentation. As well as the carbohydrate stream, NOVASUGARTM the process produces a low ash biochar, NOVACHARTM. NOVACHARTM can be used directly as a soil enhancer, its porous structure improves water retention thus reducing fertilizer run off. Being stable for thousands of years, biochar is considered a sequestrate for carbon dioxide.  Another application of NOVACHARTM is as a sustainable replacement for coke in the steel industry. Nova Pangaea has shown the upgrading of the NOVACHARTM to activated carbon with a surface area in the region of 1000m2/g.   Overall REFNOVA® is a ready to scale process for the conversion of low value biomass residues to high value sustainable biochemicals.


Cambond has developed a plant based resin which can be used as an industrial adhesive to replace formaldehyde based resin. The resin can be combined with many types of agricultural biomass fibres or polymers to make a range of composites which offer environmental and commercial advantages.

Speaker bio: Dr Xiaobin Zhao, Founder and CEO

A trained polymer chemist Xiaobin holds visiting professorships in the Universities of Strathclyde, UK, Changzhou and Lanzhou in China.He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a chartered chemist (CChem). Xiaobin is well known as an expert in biomaterials and the development of medical biopolymers and medical devices. He has extensive product development experience, including regulatory and quality control functions.

Presentation Overview: Cambond has invented a biobased adhesive as an alternative to formaldehyde urea resin for wood panel industry. We have extended the application of bioadhesive to combine with many waste from UK foundation industry such as chemicals, paper and glass  to manufacture biocomposite for construction industry funded by Innovate UK.

Celtic Renewables

Celtic Renewables is in the process of commercialising its patented clean technology process through its first site in Grangemouth, Scotland which was commissioned in July this year. The technology converts low value residues from whisky distilleries and reject potatoes into high value bio-acetone, bio-butanol and bio-ethanol which displace their fossil fuel derived equivalents in multiple different supply chains; from flavours and fragrances, to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, as well as being the building blocks to a number of bio-based solvents.

Speaker bio: Mark Simmers, CEO

Mark is an entrepreneur and commercialisation specialist with over 25 years of international experience in sales, marketing and business development. In 2011 Mark graduated from the highly prestigious Saltire Foundation Global Entrepreneurial Fellowship Programme, which included a fast-track MBA programme at Babson College, Boston USA.

Mark helped to co-found Celtic Renewables in late 2011, and has been the company’s CEO since its inception leading the growth of the company, which has seen the company raise almost £40m to scale up its patented technology and to establish the company’s first commercial manufacturing plant.

Mark has won numerous investment and business awards on behalf of Celtic Renewables, and has built a strong and dynamic team at the company. Celtic Renewables is widely regarded as one of the most innovative new renewables companies in the UK.  In a relatively short existence it has generated an exceptional global profile and awareness for sustainable biochemicals and biofuel innovation, and in 2015 the company was named European Biotech SME of the year and Emerging Scottish Business of the Year.

Mark started out his career with the International Management Group in London working with a team commercialising and managing the global golf assets of IMG. Mark founded and managed his own events and promotions company in Scotland from 2001-07, and was CEO of the British Ski and Snowboard Federation from 2007-09.

Presentation: Celtic Renewables Vision is to be the world leader in Acetone-Butanol-Ethanol ABE fermentation as a global sustainable industry, which will lead to large scale sustainable production of these bio-based solvents which displace the fossil fuel equivalents. The presentation will outline the current status of the company’s cleantech solution and the ambitious growth plans for the future.


Fiberight’s technology recovers a sustainable supply of competitively priced raw materials and in-demand commodities with high specificity for re-sale markets offering a return on investment independent of grants, subsidies or artificially high tipping fees. We provide an economically sustainable and environmentally responsible solution to manage and process both household and commercial waste. Our method boasts a lower carbon footprint and lessens the burden of collection costs.

Speaker bio: James Marshall, Commercial Manager 

James is a waste and recycling professional with a strong career history of >20 years sector experience, and has been Commercial Manager for Fiberight for the last 3 of these years. James has worked in a variety of roles, including positions with national waste management companies, and has developed expertise in the sourcing and supply of recyclable materials including
plastics and paper. He has operational and technical skills in the processing and recycling of rigid and flexible plastics including segregation, washing, and compounding technologies, and expertise in
sales and account management. James has a strong network of contacts in the UK waste sector and in key European markets.
James has a BSc degree in Environmental Science from The University of Huddersfield, UK, giving him a strong grounding in the impacts of waste recovery strategies on the environment.

Presentation Overview: Fiberight, a UK and US based Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)-to-Products Company, has developed an innovative process to recover value added products from residual waste. This true circular bio-economy solution enables waste to be diverted from landfill or incineration for the generation of homogenous product outputs including recyclables and organic resources.

Having proved the core segregation technology (HYDRACYCLE™) at scale in the US, Fiberight are now moving towards commercialising a higher-value business model in the UK. This second-generation plant upgrades the raw materials recovered from HYDRACYCLE™, and converts them into high-specification materials for manufacturing, using integrated bolt-on technologies.

Fiberight have developed valorisation pathways for two key product streams from waste: Pulp generated from residual paper and card, and plastics from packaging. The pulp is being trialled in biobased products and as a feedstock to produce platform sugars, fuels and chemicals. The plastics are being trialled in mechanical and chemical recycling processes to produce flakes/pellets, oils and waxes. When deployed these processes will have a large impact in increasing sustainable feedstock supply to the chemicals industry.


The BioSep+ process converts woody biomasses efficiently, cleanly and economically into cellulose, sugars and lignin. It is environmentally friendly using recoverable organic solvents and low energy ultrasonics to break the chemical bonds, producing quality separated products for use as platform chemicals in a wide range of industrial and domestic applications.

Speaker bio: Miranda Lindsay-Fynn, Commercial Director

An experienced entrepreneur and commercial director with wide sector experience including industrial biotechnology, retail, and distribution, legal and corporate services. A graduate of Biological Sciences at the University of Edinburgh and an MBA from London Business School.

Miranda is a cofounding investor and commercial director of Bio-Sep, leading go-to-market activities, building commercial relationships with downstream chemical partners in the supply chain and all marketing activities.

Presentation Overview: In this presentation, we will look at Bio-Sep’s unique low-energy, ultrasonic process which enables the conversion of woody biomass into three valuable biochemicals cellulose, hemicellulose rare sugars, and natural lignin. This pitch will have a particular focus on the lignin, which is separated in its native state and, as a complex aromatic polymer has huge potential for its use in high-value products including resins and composites. It is also currently not widely available and the Bio-Sep process opens exciting new opportunities for this product.

Keracol Limited

The foundation of Keracol Limited and our products is sustainability with performance. We develop products that achieve high performance, are safe and are sustainable. To do this we utilise the fantastic array of chemistry that nature provides. Keracol develops novel approaches to the extraction of active molecules from plant sources for existing and novel applications. Our extracts are effectively applied in cosmetic products for hair coloration, hair care and skin care; as food colorants and food ingredients; and in nutraceutical applications.

Speaker bio: Dr Meryem Benohoud, Technical Director

With a background in organic chemistry Meryem gained further research experience in various areas of natural products, small molecules, and green and sustainable chemistry during her post-doctoral projects in Finland and Japan.  Meryem manages a small team of scientists with the focus on the valorisation of biomass residues for uses in personal care and cosmetics. The teams’ expertise in phytochemistry, plants extraction processes and analytical chemistry allows the production of ingredients of the highest quality from waste biomass. The formulation design is not only based on the stability, sensorial properties and consumer experience of the formula and product, but also looking into delivery of actives, as well as current challenges around packaging reduction and water reduction. As well as bringing her technical expertise, Meryem has also developed strong links with food producers, food processing industry, and personal care and cosmetic ingredients suppliers. These links through academic research and the industry has enabled successful Innovate UK-funded collaborative projects. All these efforts are directed toward more sustainable practices, and working in cooperation with other businesses sharing values for sustainability.